5 Best & Cheapest Universities in New Zealand

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New Zealand has a fame for its affordable, high-quality education. There are many cheapest universities in New Zealand, offer variety of courses.

A side from low tuition fee, they provide internationally recognised degrees in various fields of studies. Also, the fee structure of NZ schools much more affordable than other foreign universities.

Hence, even your budget is low, you can still study in New Zealand any desired course. In the same way, requirements and admission process for Kiwi educational institutes are straightforward.

Therefore, for aspirant international students I have featured details about the best low-cost Universities in the New Zealand. So, let’s explore the options for your brighter future in the lands of Kiwis.

Research-Based Educational System

New Zealand’s (NZ) schools focus on modern & research-based teaching techniques. Consequently, it makes students capable enough to learn and to deal with professional career challenges.

A list of unfamiliar but cheapest Universities in New Zealand

  1. Massey University (U-Massey)
  2. Lincoln University, NZ
  3. Canterbury University, NZ
  4. The University of Otago (U-Otago)
  5. The University of Waikato, NZ

Massey University

New Zealand’s Massey University made a distinct position within the education industry for being one of the best cost-effective universities.

The Massey University is serving since 1927 and educating not only locals but foreign students as well. The good things is its scholarships policy that is most beneficial and attractive for the international students. Prominently, the Massey University is the only school that is offering degrees in:

  • Nano-science,
  • Veterinary medicine,
  • Dispute resolution, and
  • Aviation.

Besides these unique programs, the university is also offering degrees in Creative Arts, business, humanities, health, and Sciences.

Fee at Massey University

You won’t be astonished by knowing why we featured the Massey University on the list of the cheapest universities in New Zealand.

So, the reason is its lowest program fee that starts from NZ$3,800 (Per 15 credit) for undergraduate programs. And, for postgraduate programs the cost start from NZ$31,010 at the NZ’s Massey University.


Getting education overseas can be costly for many international students. However, if you are going to Massey University in New Zealand, you get a scholarship there. It may be a cash award or a voucher.

Thus, international students can apply for Scholarship, so the top students of particular subjects automatically awarded the Scholarship at the end of the year.

Language Criteria for Students

You might be curious to know about the language requirements at the New Zealand’s Massey University. So, it is IELTS 6 at least for undergraduate programs no band less than 5.5. Conversely, for a postgraduate program, you need to score 6.5 in IELTS overall.

The University of Otago

The University of Otago (U-Otago) has a history in the educational sector that dates back to 1869. The school is one of the most notable educational institution in the New Zealand.

Above all, U-Otago’s low tuition fee policy is a main point of attraction for the foreign students of various countries. Therefore, many students opt for programs at U-Otago because it also standing in a queue of the cheapest universities in New Zealand. The programs offered by the University of Otago are in health studies, humanities, Science and business.

Fee Structure

You may surprise to know that the tuition fee at U-Otago for the different programs ranges from NZ$ 6,740 to $ 21,775.

Scholarships at U-Otago

The international students can opt scholarship support at the University of Otago because they distinguish your academic excellence.

Therefore, range of scholarships are available for all levels of study programs, and the value starts from NZ$ 10,000 onward.

Language Requirement

As an international student, if you are planning to be a part of the University of Otago in New Zealand, get IELTS score 6 per band at least, for the undergraduates courses. Similarly, for postgraduate programs, an overall IELTS score of 6.5 is essential.

However, for Law, dentistry and public health, a score of 7.5, overall with at least 7 in each band in IELTS, is compulsory.

The University of Waikato (UoW)

In New Zealand, the University of Waikato (UoW) is working for many decades. The campus is home to 10,000+ students. In fact, 29% of Waikato’s students represent various nations worldwide. Because it is a good choice among the cheapest universities in New Zealand for foreign students especially from third countries nationals.

The UoW offers various undergraduate and graduate programs, including Law, Arts, Health, Psychology, Computing Science, Engineering, Education, Management and Indigenous Studies.

Programs Fee at the UoW

  • PhD & MPhil: NZ$6,332 to $6,763,
  • Pre-degree programs: NZ$11,515,
  • Bachelor’s degrees: fee $25,915, also
  • Master’s programs: $31,615 to $39,125.

International tuition cost list here.

Language Requirements

At the University of Waikato, language criteria for admission is IELTS overall score of 6 for undergraduate programs. Unlike postgraduate program, candidates should have a total band score of 6.5, with no band score below 6.

Lincoln University

Lincoln University existed in 1990, and it is the smallest university in the New Zealand. Approximately, there are 1200 international students opt various courses. Most importantly, New Zealand’s Lincoln University awards scholarships to eligible foreign students.

The Lincoln University offers distinct graduate & undergraduate programs that includes social science, natural sciences, engineering, and business studies. Above all, many international students prefer to study at Lincoln University because of its low tuition fee.


The fee at the Lincoln University depends on the program or a course. For example, pre degree programs tuition cost is $10,500 (minimum), Bachelor’s program may cost at least $14,500. Unlike, minimum cost is NZ$29,100 for the Master’s degree courses, and NZ$7,150 for PhD.

Language Criteria

For an undergraduate program at the Lincoln University, you need to maintain a score of 6.0 in IELTS, not less than 5.5 per section. However, for a postgraduate program, a score of 6.5 and not less than six is mandatory.

The University of Canterbury

No doubt the University of Canterbury (UoC) is also one of the cheapest New Zealand universities for the foreign students. Above all, the good things is that the UoC offers scholarships to both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

There many faculties at the University of Canterbury such as Medicine, Natural sciences, Engineering, Humanities and Business Administration.

Fee at the UoC

The fee begins for the various programs at the New Zealand’s UoC from NZ$6, 413.

English Language

Admission aspirants at the UoC New Zealand, require IELTS overall score 6 for undergrad programs. In contrast, for any candidate particularly applying for a postgraduate program, an overall score of 6.5 is indispensable and 6.0 in writing and 5.5 for more segments.

General Eligibility Criteria for Students

In general, for securing admission to a New Zealand University, you will need at least a University entrance. So, it depends on the course you want to register, and which university you are going to enroll. You may also require to:

  • Pass precise NCEA subjects or performance standards.
  • Attend an interview.
  • Provide a portfolio.
  • Have proper voluntary or paid employment experience.
  • Pass police checks.
  • Provide references.

Other Requirements

Generally, to get into NZ universities, international students need to present a certificate with similar capabilities showing that they have also accomplished an identical degree from an institution.

In case a student does not secure admission to any university in New Zealand. They can apply for a diploma or short-term foundation courses to prepare for university-level study.

low cost universities in New Zealand


Is New Zealand cheap to study?

Many developed countries may not cheap for third countries students. Definitely, you need to pay tuition fee and manage your living cost there as well. Conversely, New Zealand gives you cheapest options to complete your higher education there.

For example, the 3 famous Kiwi schools that charge the lowest tuition fee compare to Canada, UK and United States, are:

  1. Massey University,
  2. Canterbury University, also
  3. The University of Otago.

However, when you say ‘cheap’ to study, it means admission expenses & living cost there. So, it’s depend on your course, university, and lifestyle.

Can I take admission to any college in New Zealand after 12th?

Yes, after completing the 12th education in your home country, international students can take admission for a 3-Year Bachelor program in New Zealand.

Similarly, undergraduate students can also opt for a 2-year diploma in Science. Afterwards, you will have time to complete a 1-Year Graduate Diploma in Science to make your studies equivalent to BSc.

During my studies in New Zealand, can I work there?

A student who is studying in New Zealand can perform part-time and full-time jobs to manage his/her expenses. In addition, the minimum wages may vary NZ$15 to $20 per hour, depending upon the job. Aside from that, you must check your college or University’s policy to know about students’ work-hours permissions.

What is the minimum fee for New Zealand universities?

There are many universities in New Zealand that have pocket friendly tuition fee policies for the international students. For example, many students never know that Massey University in New Zealand charges only NZ$3,800 for a specific undergraduate program (for each 15-course credit).

Is IELTS required?

Foreign students who want to study in New Zealand they need at least an overall IELTS Band Score of 5.5. Moreover, every NZ university has a different criterion for IELTS scores.


Generally, English is the medium of instruction at the schools in New Zealand. Second, there are countable cheapest universities in New Zealand that attract thousands of students from around the globe. Therefore, I have tailored this blog to guide the students who want to study abroad, but their budget is low. Aside from low tuition fee, you may also consider the living cost in the New Zealand.

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